Architecture program ‘found a home’ in art school

Discussions to include the architecture program in the Tyler name began in 2003.

Lauren Lockwood, junior architecture major, works on a project in the Architecture Building on Oct. 23. | WILL BLEIER / THE TEMPLE NEWS

The Tyler School of Art will be renamed the Tyler School of Art and Architecture in July 2019.

The decision, which was approved by the Board of Trustees earlier this month, will better reflect the range of architecture courses offered at the school and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration within Tyler. 

The changes will create the Department of Art in Tyler. It also calls for the renaming of the Department of Architecture to the Department of Architecture and Environmental Design. 

The decision to change the name was partially because of the growth the architecture program has experienced since becoming part of the Division of Architecture and Environmental Design in 2016, said Susan Cahan, the dean of the Tyler School of Art. The division makes up one-third of Tyler’s faculty and students, she added.

Cahan said the name change process included feedback for a strategic plan from the entire faculty and constituencies of alumni and students.

“It is an expression of our desire for enhanced collaboration across disciplines, for greater interaction and synergy,” Cahan said. “It’s a public expression of the unification of the full breadth of disciplines in the school.”

According to the agenda references from the Oct. 9 Board meeting, the Department of Art will include programs in the Department of Crafts and the Department of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture, and both departments will be eliminated after the name change.

The Department of Architecture and Environmental Design will focus on programs in the built environment, an architectural term referring to the spaces in which people live and work. 

The programs within the Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture and the Department of Planning and Community Development will be moved to the Department of Architecture and Environmental Design.

Graduate architecture student Kyle Taveira, who is also president of Temple’s chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students, said his late nights in the Architecture Building with his classmates refining projects until 2 a.m. are finally being recognized.

“It’s actually funny because that’s the time people in the building bond the most,” he said. 

Architecture joined the Tyler School of Art in 1998. In 2003, discussions began to include the discipline in the name of the art school, Cahan said. 

Lauren Lockwood, a junior architecture major, said many of the assigned readings in her classes tie together architecture and art, and the name change will reinforce that curricula.

“It’s going to connect us back to art,” Lockwood said.

Kate Wingert-Playdon, an architecture professor and the associate dean of the Division of Architecture and Environmental Design, said the interactions between the two disciplines are similar to how the architecture workforce operates.

“We have so many leaders in the profession…shaping our built environment, and to bring their presence into the university psyche, I would say is a really important thing,” Wingert-Playdon said.

“It has found a home,” she added.

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